Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed Tuesday morning that the body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was found at 8:15 a.m. Aug 21 Tuesday, 800 meters from the shore of Masbate.
Roxas, in a briefing, said Robredo’s body was found at a depth of 180 feet inside the fuselage of the small Piper Seneca plane that crashed off Masbate Saturday afternoon....
"'Yung unang sumabak na mga tech divers 'yung mga puti na nakita natin kahapon, si Matt at ang kanyang team na dalawang babae. At 8:15, kumpirmado na na 'yung isa sa mga katawan ay 'yung kay Sec. Jess Robredo," Roxas said.
Roxas said Robredo’s body was the first to be accessed by divers, as the body was nearest the door.
"At roughly 8:30 or 8:40, 'yung bangkay ni Sec. Jess ay naiabot na sa surface at ito ay nilagay sa body bag at kinarga na sa barko ng Coast Guard. Ongoing pa rin ang operation for the other bodies in the fuselage," Roxas added.
"Fuselage, nakabaligtad kaya medyo kumplikado ang pag-retrieve dahil hindi nila masyadong ma-disturb 'yung fuselage at baka mapunta sa mas malalim na lugar," he said.
"Jess has been underwater for more than two days now. Hindi basta bastang... the change in pressure and change in atmosphere is very complicated,"
He said they are seeking help form the Army, the Navy, the Philippine National Police forensics people and the Department of Health in order to ensure the preservation of the body.
"Si Sec. Jess ay nasa baroto na nauna, siya ‘yung unang naaccess ng diver kasi ‘yung dalawang piloto nakasubsob sa cockpit sa loob na loob. Si Sec. Jess nasa likuran, mas malapit siya sa pinto. So siya 'yung unang nakuha ng diver at 'yan ang dahilan kung bakit nauuna na siyang dahan-dahan inakyat," Roxas said.
Roxas added that retrieval operations continue for the two pilots (pilot Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand) and the fuselage, who were in the deepest part of the cockpit..
The search for Robredo and the two pilots was on its fourth day Tuesday, after the Piper Seneca carrying Robredo and three others crashed off Masbate Saturday while en route from Cebu to Naga.
Only Robredo's aide, Senior Inspector Jun Abrasado, was rescued from the plane shortly after it crashed.
Robredo celebrated his 54th birthday last May 27.